Living and Wellness Why People Get Sick After Traveling By Urgent Care, January 31, 2016 Have you ever wondered why it seems like you always get sick after traveling? Well, you’re not alone! Many of us will pack our bags and enjoy a nice vacation this year, but some people will return home with more than just a souvenir. The most common health issues that people encounter after a trip include: Minor colds Fevers Upset stomachs While these ailments are mild, it’s important to monitor your symptoms and seek treatment from a medical provider if they get worse or persist for an extended period of time. What Causes Us to Get Sick After a Trip? From close, unsanitary quarters, to changes in your daily routine, travel can put our bodies through the ringer and our health at risk. One of the major concerns that vacationers have is with air travel. While many people believe that recirculated, germy air is the main culprit of illness after a plane ride, the real reason why flying can cause us to get sick is from low humidity. When you’re soaring through the sky, the high elevations cause the humidity level in the airplane cabin to decrease. This decrease in humidity causes our noses and throats to dry up, leaving our bodies’ natural defense mechanism at bay. Solution: Stay well hydrated. This will help to keep your nose and throat lined with mucus, which creates a barrier to keep germs out. You can also protect your nose by using a saline nasal solution or nasal mist. Not traveling by airplane? You may still be at risk for illness due to other factors associated with changing up your routine. While on vacation, many people tend to go all out, whether it’s with food, alcohol, or staying up all night. Overindulgence can take a toll on your body and weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to getting sick. Solution: Don’t go crazy! We all like to enjoy ourselves on vacation, but make sure that you’re doing so within reason. Try to stick as closely to your typical daily routine as possible to not throw your body out of whack. Finally, we should all be on high alert for the spread of germs in crowded and highly trafficked areas. Tight seats on airplanes, taxi door handles, and rest stop bathrooms are just a few of the places of which we should be wary. It’s important to be mindful of your own hygiene to help prevent catching a lingering cough or sniffle from fellow travelers. Solution: Hand washing is your best defense against the spread of germs. Make sure you wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Now that you’ve gotten some information on how to prevent post-travel illness, it’s time to pack those bags and hit the road! Check out these tips on how to stay healthy while traveling.